Discovering Anderson Talisca, a killer for hire in Istanbul

Everything has its price.

The first season of Turkish TV series “Suskunlar” (“Game of silence“), ends with the word “Bedel“, in English language “Price“. After 32 hours of hectic action, four friends are forced not to meet themselves anymore.

There are always some bills yet to be paid, in Istanbul.

One of the more discussed now is Anderson Souza ConceiçãoTalisca“, recently appeared on Show TV‘s screens as well. On one side the intrigues of “Suskunlar” and the personal vengeances of Ecevit, Bilal, Ahu and Ibrahim; on the other side an “assassin on commission“, character immediately adopted by the Turkish megalopolis after 17 goals in one season. The air on the Bosphorus creates unique stories and characters and Anderson, a guy coming from a really far place, realized it as soon as he could.

A price, the first one: 850k reais.

That was the first money amount collected by the Fazenda do Apoio ao Menor, a sum that will probably give a unique chance to hundreds of kids in Feira de Santana to run away from misery. As it happened some years ago, before the structure fell into neglect due to lack of funds. We’re talking about a farm located 115 km from Salvador de Bahia, North-Eastern Brazil. The Fazenda is a real opportunity, especially in a place where the alternatives are often drugs or criminality, and playing well football is not enough to enter it. You need to play at least three musical instruments and “saber capoeira“, to dance in a good manner the most known (and spectacular) Brazilian martial art. Music and dance saved the young Anderson, that here most people know as “Doda“, but who soon, on different pitches, will gain another surname, the one that will always remain with him: “tiny log“, in Portuguese language “Talisca“, referring to his very thin legs. A minute and slender body, united with his determined temperament, will bring him first to Rio (for a trial at Vasco da Gama) then again to Salvador de Bahia, his state capital. It was just the beginning.

A price, 12 million reais, around 4 million euro.

That’s the highest revenue ever cashed-in by Esporte Clube Bahia during his history. Jorge Jesus and Benfica were literally conquered by Talisca‘s potential, and his “new Rivaldo” surname surround the new transfer with a great dose of expectations. His first answers on the pitch were good. A fabulous left foot, an innate ability with movements with the ball and a nice vision convinced the demanding supporters of the so-called “Águias“. But the rebel and creative attitude of Anderson, initially appreciated, became a double-edged sword.

His relationship with Jorge Jesus developed well beyond his benfiquista experience. Talisca needed him even afterwards, looking for him continuously through SMS and whatsapp messages. Meanwhile his maestro passed to the other side of Lisbon, Sporting Clube de Portugal. Unacceptable for Benfica fans, further bothered by Anderson’s adventures in the capital city. Once he’s caught with no driving licence, once he’s seen playing futsal with some friends – with no permission by the society.
The former “new Rivaldo” was literally dumped by his club, so he looked around for a new opportunity, maybe in England, a dream he hasn’t completely forgotten about. He didn’t get a work permit, however, and surprisingly Talisca chose Turkey. Beşiktaş won the race to sign him on a two-year loan. And the show began again.

A price, fifteen.

That’s the clause put by Benfica on his contract for a buy-out to Turkey, in fact impossible due to financial fair-play reasons. Fifteen are also the days that fly towards his first match, September 2016, in Champions League, casually against his former team.
Naturally Beşiktaş find a 1-1 draw after 94 minutes thanks to a beautiful left-footed masterpiece by the guy from Feira de Santana. Less naturally, after his wondrous goal, Talisca is submerged by whistles. Anderson celebrates, shooting to the whole “Estadio Da Luz” the repressed joy in his last Lisbon days.

I will never get back to Benfica,

he will then say in the post-match interviews. There wasn’t even need to say it.
Just two weeks on the Bosphorus made him understand that it was the ideal environment to grow up in. Talisca becomes soon a key part of a group that completes a good Europa League campaign, concluding just at the quarter-finals, after a penalty lottery lost against Olympique Lyonnais. Then a national title will arrive, the second in a row for Beşiktaş after seven years of drought. Anderson is now the idol of a fan-base that already knows they will lose him one day, and then dedicated him an unusual – but appropriate – surname.

“Kiralık katil”, a killer for hire.

The linguistic creativity of çArşı, Beşiktaş’ most known fan group, is surely inspired by his lethal free-kicks. Talisca gets better and better with his famous ability, becoming a strange sort of “sniper”. He scores a decisive goal for the title, right at Galatasaray’s home. That’s another pearl coming from his left foot, not even the best one. That’s one of the steps for the final year celebrations, a fabulous parade on the water with yachts and ferryboats of any kind marching to the stadium.
In those moments of partying Talisca remembered the only coach that believed in him after Jorge Jesus. His name is Şenol Güneş, the man that after his goal against Gençlerbirliği gave him a kiss on the front, one of the most iconic photos of the 2016/17 Süper Lig season.

A price, twenty-three.

That’s the other buy-out clause on his contract, the one implying a transfer abroad for Talisca. A guy that, maybe, understood that some pleasures can’t be bought with money. His vengeance at “Da Luz“, his rebirth as football player in Istanbul and his newfound passion for the Game are more valuable that a multi-million check.
They represent his new identity as a killer for hire, a portrait that on the Bosphorus is ok for all the circumstances. For both a TV series and a football match.

Photo Benfica and bicycle kick ©LaPresse
Photo “Da Luz” celebration ©AP
Photo Şenol Güneş ©Anadolu Ajansi
Cover photo ©Lusa

Special thanks to Alessandro Bai